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It's Critical that Sales Representatives Adapt their Selling Style

As the demand for talent continues to rise, so too does the spend for most companies employing a contingent workforce. And with that increase comes added scrutiny from the C-Suite of our clients.

While C-Suite involvement can be a positive event for staffing companies, in this particular scenario it will most likely mean a decree to trim cost by any means necessary. This translates into additional pressure for HR/TA and Purchasing departments to commoditize our offering. Therefore it is critical that sales representatives adapt their selling style.

No longer is pure “relationship” type selling a plausible method. In relationship selling, reps focus on being accepted into the comfort zone of their clients. That means they do anything to reduce tension and hopefully, let the relationship drive the sale. While that sounds acceptable, in a situation where the pressure is on to commoditize, the result will be that we are forced to acquiesce into some level of reduction – generally at the mercy of our profit.

What is the alternative? Simply stated, we must work to educate. There is a style of selling that involves “challenging” our clients.

  • The challenger will debate: “current method of hiring people fails as much as 50% of the time”.
  • They will share views that might be contrary to the way things are done today: “Service level agreements need to be placed on all people involved in the process, including hiring managers”.
  • They will explore alternative ways of procuring talent: “go to works/interview-less hires”, “contract to hire”

The intent is to push clients out of their comfort zone in an effort to see a different way of achieving all of the results the client needs – i.e. rapid procurement of top level talent that also meets the C-Suite need to reduce overall costs.

The TechServe Sales & Recruiting Management Program focuses on helping sales people adopt the principles of the challenger, as they are specifically tailored to the staffing industry.

If you have questions about how the TechServe Sales & Recruiting Management Program can help you and your teams achieve these critical objectives, please reach me at 
Rick Carlson
Sales & Recruiting Management Program Director
TechServe Alliance